IRS offers online, local assistance for filing 2013 taxes - The Explorer: News

IRS offers online, local assistance for filing 2013 taxes

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Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 4:00 am

Tax season is here, and whether residents are waiting until the April 15 deadline, or filing ahead of time, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials recommend all take advantage of the online services to save time and money.

Through IRS Free File, irs.gov/freefile, residents can file taxes through a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance. The alliance is a group of private-sector tax software companies that make their products available for free.

More than 40 million taxpayers have used IRS Free File to prepare and safely e-file tax returns. This option is also the fastest way to get a refund.

Bill Brunson, a spokesman for the IRS, said more than 2.9 million Arizonans will file returns for 2013, and of those, 2.3 million will be electronically.

Four tips to follow in using IRS Free File are:

The only way to use IRS Free File is through the IRS website. Once a free-file company is chosen, you will be directed to their website where filers can prepare, print and e-file all tax returns.

The question and answer format for Free File software will help filers find tax breaks they may be entitle to claim. This could include tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. The software selects the appropriate tax forms and does the calculations.

If a filer makes $58,000 or less they can use brand-name software for free. Those earning more than that, filers can use Free File Fillable Forms. This option uses electronic versions of IRS paper forms.

If a filer can’t complete tax returns by April 15, they can request a six-month extension using the Free File site. However, IRS officials stress that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.

For local residents needing extra assistance, there is free help in both Marana and Oro Valley.

Catholic Community Services and the IRS are offering free tax preparation to area residents for both federal and state returns to be electronically filed.

Free tax assistance is available for those who have low to moderate income of $57,000 or less, senior citizens, disabled or those who have English as a second language. 

Volunteers have been certified through the IRS program to prepare basic tax returns, provide information on the Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits taxpayers may be eligible for.

The free tax help site is located in the National Bank of Arizona, located at 7601 N. Oracle Road in Oro Valley. This site is open on Fridays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. through April 11.

Anyone with questions regarding the free assistance, can call Liz Thomey at 622-2801, or email at liz@ccs-pio.org.

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